Thursday, February 16, 2006

Star Wars - Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter

Michael Reaves
The Ballantine Publishing Group
Published in United States - Feb 2001
First Edition (Hardcover)
320 Pages Link

Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter by Michael Reaves quenches the thirst for all those who have been the fan of Darth Maul, since the screening of Episode I: Phantom Menace. The story is set just before the happenings in Phantom Menace and after the Cloak of Deception.

The book portrays the driving force of Darth Maul, vaguely hinting on his origins and how he got trained under Darth Sidious. It also gives the details on the Sith philosophy and the reason behind the one-master-one-apprentice way of the Sith. The hook in the novel is around a holocube that contains information on the Sith. Two characters, notably not Jedi Knights, but a human, Lorn and his droid friend, I-Five, come to possess this holocube from a Neimodian, and thus are targeted by the Sith warrior.

But a Star Wars novel cannot be complete with out a Jedi, and hence it shows the role of Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Though, I should say that it revolves around another Padawan-become-Jedi Knight, Darsha Assant, and Lorn and I-Five's struggle against the over powered Darth Maul.

It gives us a rich picture of the Republic that becomes the cauldron for brewing the galaxy-wide happenings in the Star Wars universe.

The writing is easy and it seems like a walk in the park, and it urges you to go on. If you watched the Episode I movie or have read the novelisation of it, Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter comes easily into perspective.

Star Wars Episode II - Attack of the Clones


The Ballantine Publishing Group

Published in United States - April 2003 First Mass Market Edition

344 Pages

Star Wars Episode II - Attack of the Clones by R.A.Salvatore is based upon the story by George Lucas, on the movie featuring the same title. The novel is placed 22 years before Star Wars Episode IV - A new Hope. The novel does not add much detail in to the known story of the movie, though there are some subtle incidents not to be found in the movie.

The story takes place after 10 years of Star Wars Episode I - The Phantom Menace. Anakin Skywalker is now a Padawan under Obi-Wan.The story starts with an assasination attempt on Senator Amidala. What follows this is a pretty adventurous and shocking investigation by Obi-Wan. The story also deals with the relationship of Padme and Anakin. The story finishes quite dramatically and makes way for the future incidents, to be featured in Star Wars Episode III - The Revenge of the Sith.

For the people who have already seen the movie, the book helps to relive those moments in the movie. Also, the book is very well written. I could not help myself from reading on, even though I have watched the movie nearly five times. A good read for any Star Wars fan.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Star Wars - Cloak Of Deception

James Luceno
The Ballantine Publishing Group
Published in United States - Jul 2002
First Mass Market Edition (Paperback)
344 Pages Link

Star Wars - Cloak of Deception, by James Luceno falls first in the timeline of published novels. The novel is placed about thirty two and a half years before Star Wars: A New Hope (IV Episode), the movie. Or on an easier scale, it is placed just before Star Wars Episode I: Phantom Menace. Valorum holds the title of Supreme Chancellor and Palpatine is gathering allies to run for that title.

I do not prefer to summarize much here, because that would spoil the read if you intend to do it. The novel introduces Darth Maul, and his master Darth Sidious. It also portrays the nefarious intent of Nute Gunray, who, by the end of the novel, heads the Trade Federation with the help of Darth Sidious 'coaxing' his competitors. It also involves the Master and the Padawan, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, trying to foil the assassination attempt on Chancellor Valorum. It lays all the bricks required and starts a couple of threads in the Galactic Republic that seem to conclude way up to Episode III.

Overall, it is a good starter for someone not already reading any sci-fi literature. It does not contain many of the planetary-scaled or system-scaled scenes that are too common in Star Wars literature. It is more of a political drama driven by a good mix of action and adventure.